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  • samchris51

Let the light shine

It's the eighth day of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of light. In honor of that occasion and hoping to shine the light on the promising spaces in Israel, I want to share information about organizations and people in Israel who continue to work on behalf of Peace between Israelis and Palestinians. All the organizations listed have websites, and some take donations. I encourage everyone to check them out.

In Haifa and Jaffa, joint Jewish and Arab patrols seek to prevent violence on both sides. In the shadow of war, Arab-Jewish solidarity initiatives have emerged across the country.

Maoz Inon is a peace activist who lost both his parents, Bilha and Yakovi Inon, in the surprise attack by Hamas on October 7th that killed over 1,300 people in Israel. His parents lived on a kibbutz, a farming collective, just north of the Gaza border. Check out his Instagram feed

Standing Together, Israel 

The largest Arab-Jewish grassroots group in Israel. It mobilizes Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel “in pursuit of peace, equality, and social and climate justice.” 

Combatants for Peace, Israel/Palestine  

The ex-combatants who founded this joint Israeli-Palestinian nonprofit were once part of the cycle of violence that plagues the region. Now, they have put down their weapons to promote peace instead. 

The Parents Circle – Families Forum, Israel/Palestine

Launched in 1995, the PCFF is a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization that brings together more than 600 families from both sides, all of whom have lost someone to the ongoing conflict. 

Women Wage Peace/Women of the Sun, Israel/Palestine 

Israel-based Women Wage Peace (WWP) and its Palestinian sister movement, Women of the Sun, empower women on both sides of the border to shore up support for peace in their communities and build trust across divides. 

EcoPeace Middle East, Israel/Jordan/Palestine 

EcoPeace Middle East is an environmental peace-building organization working across Israel, Jordan, and Palestine to promote collaboration for the environment's sake. 

Its efforts led to Israel approving sewage treatment upgrades in Gaza, enabling the restoration of the Gaza Strip’s most significant wetland, the Wadi Gaza, a one-time biodiversity hotspot that had been choked with sewage for three decades. 

Hand in Hand, Israel 

In Israel, a growing number of integrated schools have been bringing Jewish and Palestinian children together to learn under one roof (Palestinians account for almost a quarter of Israel’s population). 

Road to Recovery, Israel 

Road to Recovery is an Israeli association of volunteers who drive Palestinian patients, primarily children, from checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza for life-saving treatments in Israeli hospitals. 

Israel is a complicated place, a place whose current politics I vehemently disagree with, but a place with amazing people. Smart, creative, talented people who I believe can find a path to peaceful coexistence with Palestinians.

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